Since completing Project 365 last week I stepped away from climbing and blogging to relax a little bit–to take a bit of time to revel in the success of this venture. I found that relaxation was hard to come by–and that anxiety was plentiful. In order to stay occupied I have been spending my time editing photos and preparing to share my account of the final 5 days of Project 365 and the grand finale. “Processing” would probably be the appropriate term. I have only bouldered a little bit and that little bit has been very comforting. Good habits can die hard too.

For the last year I have been focusing on the minutia of the daily routine of climbing and traveling, to the exclusion of most everything else–without having much time to actually stop and digest what was happening. Many days I would just force myself to zone out everything other than getting through the days climbing because I couldn’t think about all of the unknown and risk beyond that without my mind imploding. Not having a home and living on the road forces you into a different headspace. Now, we have a small apartment, and the reintegration has begun. On January 16th, everything just sort of hit me–like I had come to a complete halt, a near reversal of all my momentum up til that point. To be honest, I feel very little completion. I don’t feel relieved on a grand scale. I don’t feel like the Project is truly finished.

I have felt a bit rudderless, like I am drifting without much direction. Sleep is hard to come by and I have been forcing myself to enjoy watching cartoons and I even started playing old Nintendo games on my computer in between editing and writing to try and keep my wheels from spinning out of control. It’s been a challenge–an adjustment. I wasn’t prepared for it–and I have heard from other friends who have taken on big projects that this type of comedown period is normal. It occurs to me that challenge IS change and there isn’t really an effective way to prepare for change other than accepting that you have to ride it out and let it get better.

I feel like drawing a connection between this point I am making and living with diabetes is too obvious for me to bother specifying, but I could be too deep in my head to recognize that such a point needs to be made. Sometimes (many times, in my experience) no matter what the challenge, you have to let it get better which only happens when you stop trying to make it better. So that’s what I am doing–surrendering to the process.

I can feel the adjustment happening a little bit at a time and I know that this is all for the best. I also have been sorting out ideas for the future–both personally and for LivingVertical as an organization. It’s been obvious to me for some time that Project 365 is a good start–a good way to demonstrate our mission and raise awareness, but my goal in the next steps are to DO more to engage others.

I have been getting a decent amount of questions on our facebook page and I am excited to start answering those questions in the coming blogs. The focus of LivingVertical now is fulfilling the perks for Project 365 contributors and creating the documentary about the Project to give back to the community. I am excited at this challenge–but we are producing this work in house (meaning Stefanie and I, working out of a dimly lit one bedroom apartment!) and we are learning as we go. Contrary to what Hollywood would have you believe, movies are not put together through the week in order to entertain people on the following weekend. My goal is for you to be watching our film in approximately 6 months. I am excited to share the play by play of that process with you all!

So yes, this blog is sort of an icebreaker to get the ball re-rolling as we look toward new horizons. I am interested in taking questions–so please leave comments here or on the LivingVertical Facebook page. This week, I will be telling you about the last several days of Project 365 and the hail-Mary finish–with a LOT of photos!